The light of life (Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens)

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  • (Posted 2023-11-08)  CPDL #77100:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-08).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 536 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Faithful to original
  • (Posted 2019-08-14)  CPDL #55052:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2019-08-14).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 132 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed down a semitone from original key.
  • (Posted 2019-08-14)  CPDL #55051:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2019-08-14).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 134 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original key.

General Information

Title: The light of life
Composer: Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens
Lyricist: William Duthie

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score.

First published: 1872 in Novello's Part-Song Book (2nd series), Vol. 5, no. 164
Description: Six Four-part Songs, No. 3 (1868)

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1  O, light of life! thou vivid spark,
Which dartest forth thy fitful ray,
When round about us, close and dark,
Our worldly troubles stand at bay.
Thou com'st, perchance, as tiny flower,
Or bird, or note, or snowy flake,
Or cheerful word in dullest hour,
And dost a very glory make.

2  O, happy heart! that can rejoice
In simple efforts to be glad;
And hear sweet sounds in ev'ry voice
As if it silent music had.
Laughter, a sigh, a snatch of song,
Lightning a cloud in dappled heav'n,
A hundred things the live-day long,
As chords of joy to thee are giv'n.

3  O light of life! 'tis ours to warm
Thy little spark into a blaze;
That from our hearts the darkling storm
May redden in the joyful rays.
From glorious sky to murky ground,
In ev'ry hue, and shade, and line,
Unnumbered flashes gleam around,
If our dull eyes would see them shine.